Totally delish! Smoked chickpea tacos with avocado and homemade pickled onions for Taco Tuesday or any day, loaded with vegetables, spice and protein-filled chickpeas.
Smoky chickpeas tacos packed with vegetables and spice — they’re quick, full of nourishing flavor and so tasty!
The smashed chickpeas in these soft tacos get their robust flavor from smoked paprika — or pimenton — a type of ground pepper essential to Spanish cooking.
What is smoked paprika?
Smoked paprika, or pimenton, is similar to Hungarian-style paprika.
Instead of air-dried red peppers, pimenton is made with ground peppers that have been smoked over a wood fire.
You can taste the distinctive earthy flavor of pimenton in many traditional foods like chorizo and paella.
I love to cook with smoked paprika, and make my own spice blends to season barbecued meat and in dishes like this Chorizo-Spiced Chicken Chili.
As a vegetarian main dish, these meatless tacos are totally satisfying.
I think the smoky seasoning on the chickpeas makes a great stand-in for grilled meat, and besides being delicious, chickpeas are full of excellent plant protein.
The pickled red onions in this recipe really add a spark of flavor, and you can make them a day or two ahead.
You’ll end up with more than you need for these tacos, but trust me, you’ll find yourself sneaking some on just about everything!
- Pickled Onion:
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- ½ of a jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1- 14 ounce can chickpeas, drained or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
- Corn tortillas
- Lettuce leaves or baby greens
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
- 4 ounces crumbled feta or goat cheese
- 1/2 English or Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 or 2 limes, halved
- Make the pickled onion: Dissolve the salt and sugar with the vinegar in a bowl. Add the onion and toss around to coat. Let stand 15 minutes to soften.
- Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the jalapeno, garlic and a pinch of salt a few minutes until softened and fragrant. Stir in the paprika and stir 30 seconds, then add the chickpeas and ¼ cup water. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and mash the chickpeas coarsely with a potato masher or wooden spoon. Taste the chickpeas and season with more salt if needed.
- Heat the tortillas directly over a medium gas flame on the stovetop until lightly browned, about 30 seconds per side (use a pair of tongs). Stack on a plate and cover with a towel to keep warm. If you don't have a gas stove, heat the tortillas one by one in a small heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
- Make each taco with some of the the chickpeas, lettuce, cilantro, avocado, onion, cheese and cucumber. Squeeze lime juice over each taco and serve.
- The chickpea filling makes enough for about 6 soft tacos. If you're feeding a crowd, double the recipe.
- Omit the cheese to make vegan tacos.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 348 Total Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 19mg Sodium: 475mg Carbohydrates: 40g Fiber: 12g Sugar: 8g Protein: 14g